Concerns and Vaccination Hesitancy Surrounding Seasonal Respiratory Viruses

Concerns and Vaccination Hesitancy Surrounding Seasonal Respiratory Viruses

A recent survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania revealed that over a third of Americans express concerns about contracting a seasonal respiratory virus, such as the flu, COVID-19, or RSV, in the coming months. However, the survey also indicated that enthusiasm for vaccination against these viruses is not as high as anticipated.

When participants were asked about their worries regarding RSV, COVID-19, or the flu within the next three months, 35 percent expressed concern about RSV and COVID-19, while 39 percent expressed concern about the flu to varying degrees. These findings highlight the apprehension people feel about the potential impact of these viruses on their health and the health of their loved ones.

Surprisingly, the survey indicated that vaccination against these viruses is not a significant priority for many participants. Only 21 percent reported receiving the seasonal flu shot this year, which is lower than the vaccination rate during the same period last year (26 percent). This drop in reported flu vaccination is a cause for concern, as it not only affects protection against influenza but also suggests potential hesitancy towards other CDC-recommended vaccines.

Regarding preventive medicines, the survey results demonstrated mixed attitudes towards COVID-19 and RSV vaccines. While 40 percent stated their likelihood of getting the new COVID-19 shots, 44 percent expressed hesitation. Despite the relatively early stage of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign during the survey, with only 8 percent reporting having received the vaccine, half of adults in a separate survey stated that they currently do not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

On another note, when asked about recommending the RSV vaccine to friends or family members over the age of 60, 55 percent expressed likelihood in urging them to consult their healthcare provider about the vaccine. Conversely, opinions were divided regarding recommending the same vaccine for pregnant individuals, with 45 percent unlikely to make the recommendation and 43 percent likely.

These survey results indicate the need for continued public education and communication regarding the importance of vaccination against seasonal respiratory viruses. Addressing concerns and providing accurate information can help promote vaccine acceptance, thus safeguarding both individual and public health.


1. What is RSV?

RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. It is a common respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory tract infections, particularly in infants and older adults.

2. Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness before receiving approval from regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

3. Why is vaccination important?

Vaccination plays a crucial role in preventing infectious diseases and reducing their spread. It not only protects individuals from getting sick but also helps create herd immunity, which benefits the entire community by reducing the overall transmission of viruses.

4. Can pregnant individuals get vaccinated against RSV?

Yes, a vaccine called Abrysvo has been approved for administration in pregnant women to provide protection against RSV in their newborn infants during the first six months of life when they are most vulnerable to severe infection.

5. Where can I find more information about vaccines?

For more information about vaccines, it is recommended to consult reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

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